Elmira Beats Becker In Tightly-Contested Home Opener

ELMIRA, N.Y. -- The Elmira College women's basketball team toughed out a 67-61 victory over the visiting Hawks from Becker College in its 2019 home opener inside Speidel Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.

The Soaring Eagles (1-1) outshot the Hawks (1-4) from the floor (40.0%-to-34.0%), 3-point range (37.5%-to-23.5%), and the foul line (60.9%-to-56.8%). While Becker did finish the contest with a game-high 21 free throw makes, late foul shots by the Soaring Eagles ultimately sealed the game for the Purple and Gold.

The game was decided in the fourth quarter, as the Soaring Eagles outscored the Hawks by six points in the period and never trailed after grabbing a 50-48 lead on an Alyssa Waters '22 3-pointer with 7:44 remaining. But after falling by six, 61-55, the scrappy Becker squad made it a one-point game at 62-61 with a little over a minute to play. A foul with 18 seconds left then sent Bridget Yaw '20 to the line, and she made the first of her two tries to widen the margin to 63-61.

After collecting the rebound on Yaw's missed attempt, Becker Head Coach David Bostick requested a timeout. A disagreement with the officials on whether or not Becker could advance the ball to center court resulted in a fatal technical foul, and Lauren Franklin '20 converted one of the two subsequent free throws.

Forced to foul to preserve the clock, the Hawks sent Yaw back to the line twice more in the closing seconds, and the senior made three of her four shots to put the game out of Becker's reach.

Waters, who made four 3-pointers, including the go-ahead bucket in the fourth quarter, led all Soaring Eagles with 16 points. Franklin picked up a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards, in addition to six assists, three steals, and one block. Yaw was the third Elmira player to reach double-digits with 12 points, seven of which came from the foul line, to go along with five assists and a team-high two blocks.

In Their Own Words...
Head Coach Devin Shea on Elmira's ability to close out Sunday's game for their first win of the season...
"Overall, we showed really strong composure for probably about 38 minutes. It was a tough start to the second half, but they did a really nice job picking each other up, holding each other accountable and refocusing, which was really nice to see. It was a really good team effort overall."

Coach Shea when asked about changes the offense made after the last game at Rochester to be more efficient against Becker...
"University of Rochester is a tough opponent in a tough conference. We were excited to open with them because it was a good challenge for us, and it set us up to be ready to bang and have a tough, physical game against Becker. We were able to go back, watch that film and see what adjustments needed to be made. We anticipated seeing some zone (defense), so we were able to work on our zone offense, and it looked really nice overall."

News and Notes

  • Elmira improved to 1-1, while Becker, last year's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) runner-up, fell to 1-4.
  • EC more than doubled the point production from its season-opening game with 67 points against the Hawks.
  • Elmira's 19 assists are the most in a game since matching that feat against D'Youville College on November 2, 2018.
  • Waters scored double-digit points for the second consecutive game to open her sophomore season.
  • Yaw and Franklin set new season highs for points.
  • Franklin recorded her sixth career double-double against the Hawks.
  • Senior Emily Breheny '20 started her second game in a row and posted season highs in rebounds (7) and assists (3).

Up Next
The Soaring Eagles will play their next two games on the road, beginning with a 6:00 p.m. non-conference match-up at Wells College in Aurora, New York, on Tuesday, November 19.